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Simone's Steps to Stardom

Simone McKinnis is Australia's leading Wing Defense. These tips were written by her for a "Sports Weekly" column....


Each country has it's own style. New Zealand is renowned for its two-handed passing,
the Carribean for its high, loopy passes to exploit its aerial skills, and Australia for its hard,
low passes used for power over greater distances.

1. To pass the ball, fingers should be spread comfortably behind the ball, with hands hallowed
and elbow slightly bent. The ball is back and high, with your body angled in the direction
of the pass.

2. With legs slightly bent, push the ball from the shoulder, elbow, wrist and fingers, while
at the same time transferring your weight onto the front foot. Your body should be turned
towards the direction of the pass.

3. Follow through with a flick of the wrists. The ball shoulld roll off the fingers.

Improving Reflexes

As the game moves so quickly, reactions have to be spot-on. Here are some tips to improve your reflexes and skills in a game.

Surprises: With a partner, one person starts in a stationary position with knees slightly
bent, legs about a shoulder-width apart, and hands on top of thighs. The thrower, standing
about a metre away, flicks the ball within arms' reach in any direction. The aim of the
worker is to snatch the ball between each take and flick it back to the partner. Then replace
hands back on the top of thighs. Repeat 20 times and change.

Reactions: The worker stands with her back to the thrower, with head up and eyes straight
ahead. The thrower is to release the ball at any angle forcing the worker to react and grab
the ball. This is a good exercise to improve reaction time.

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